Friday, October 1, 2010

The Not-So-Secret Path

I used to walk to school a lot more. It only takes about 20 minutes at a leisurely pace, and is even faster on a bike. Sometimes if I miss the bus or if the bus is too full in the mornings, I'll ride my bike and it takes less than 10 minutes from leaving to be sitting in class. I often walk back to my apartment with a few of the other students who also live in the area. Having observed many other students walking right into what looked like a stand of trees, we've discovered a shortcut that makes the walk only about 15 minutes at a quick pace. It's close enough that I usually have enough time to go back home for lunch or a quick nap between classes. Don't worry... I take the bus when it starts to get dark, which rarely happens because I like to study in the quiet at home rather than stay at school after classes.

The path takes you over a very small creek and some railroad tracks...

Then, voila, you're in civilization!

I'm still amazed at how lush and green everything here is.

Goodbye Summer

Hello everyone, I have been really busy lately with exams and projects. Although there's even more work to be done, I'm beginning to settle into a (slightly frantic) routine. School is enjoyable.. but it's a lot of work! I don't remember when it last took me more than a month to finish reading a book for leisure.

At any rate, I wasn't in such a rush today after classes and have a picture in front of the pharmacy building, where the majority of my classes are held. As you can see, I'm dressed in my lab coat and professional attire because I've just come out of Pharmacy Practice Lab. That's where we get to practice and apply the concepts we've learned in lectures. I'm looking forward to practicing sterile compounding techniques next week. That will include dressing in disposable shoes, face mask, cap and gown and preparing IV bags like what would be used in hospitals. Except I'll probably just be using sugar and water. In fact, some of the pills that I've counted in lab have smelled suspiciously like peppermint candy on opening the bottles. Don't worry, I'm not going to test my theory any time soon.

It's been getting cold. Gone are the hot muggy 90 degree days with extra humidity, and here are the days that range from 55-70. Seasons change much more quickly here and I'm missing California weather, even if it was a record-breaking 114F over last weekend at home. I'll be sure to take some pictures of the foliage when they start to turn colors. As you can see, the grass at my feet has already started to get covered by leaves.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Apartment

This is my apartment a few days after I moved in. I arrived at the airport with just 2 suitcases and a cat. Everything else I either had to buy or ship over from home. I was really busy trying to buy things while I still had the rental car so I didn't bother trying to clean up until later. It was a HUGE mess. Here are the Before pictures:

Here's the other side of the livingroom/kitchen.

1 week after arriving, I have the most important things set up. Computer and internet! It's getting better, but this place was really old and dumpy looking when I got here. As you can see, the curtains were "pieces of junk" as proclaimed by the maintenance man when he saw them. He replaced all my windows with new blinds!

Here are the After pictures:

You can't tell from this picture, but my new monitor is so big that it's too close if I put it on my folding table desk. It's sitting on top of a chest of drawers, a ream of paper, and an ochem book. I also have lovely cardboard box "bookshelves" along the edges of the room. No sofa, but I do have a lovely rug I brought with me from Hong Kong a few years ago. I'm planning on getting some cushions for sitting on, then I can still ahve a part of the room that I can change and move around whenever.

The view outside my living room. As you can see, these blinds aren't all bent out of shape and I can finally have some privacy as the neighbors in the complex up there like to smoke and talk on their cell phones out there. Usually, it's quiet, and a much much better view than the people whose windows look directly at another building or into someone else's windows.

From left to right: the tiny kitchen, the coat closet-turned-kitty-restroom, front door, Panini's luggage-turned-bed

The door to bedroom. Not enough counter space for serious cooking. However, the counter tops are a charming powder blue flecked with gold and old burn marks. This place is straight out of the 60s. However, the fridge is reasonably new and there's a fresh (maybe 5 year old) coat of paint on the walls.

My extremely comfortable futon (filled with alternating layers of cotton and foam, made locally, not that cheap china-made junk you get at walmart). A rug that has traveled all the way from Iraq. and my bedside table made out of my printer box and a sheet from my desk calendar. Half my furniture is made from boxes. and I really don't mind it that way. I've been finding myself reluctant to get big bulky furniture and lots of stuff. I like living more simply and should I ever need to move, it's easy. Everything is portable or turns into a container for transporting things.

I didn't have blinds on this westward facing bedroom window for a week and a half during the heat wave. This place has shaped up since i arrived!

There's a water heater in my walk in closet. Makes that room always warm. Not exactly desirable in the summer.. but I'm sure I'll be glad of it and the instantly hot water in the wintertime.

It's a groovy medicine cabinet lined with the same ugly old stained paper that's in all the cabinets. I've since relined everything with a roll of wallpaper I found at Goodwill for a dollar.

Well, there's the grand tour.

And So The Adventure Begins!

Hello all,

I just started school at The University of Iowa, College of Pharmacy. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, I should be graduating with the class of 2014. Well, this is why I moved from sunny Southern California to Iowa. Believe me, it wasn't a tough decision to leave.

Here I am right after the white coat ceremony which was held in a ballroom at the Marriott. After many speeches, former alumni/faculty who were members of the 1885 Society bestowed upon us our coats as a symbol of the profession. After the coating, we all took the Oath of a Pharmacist (all this before even starting classes). The school's vision is that we we start our studies with this to mark the beginning of our careers. It doesn't start when we graduate or become licensed--it starts now.

A fellow classmate kindly took my photos for me as I went alone. This was right before the ceremony and I was front and center.